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Using a middle name as a first name? How does it work? Help me decide please!

(29 Posts)
Jivegirl Thu 31-Jul-08 21:55:14

I posted previously regarding changing my dilemma whether or not to change DD's name (5wks old) as she doesn't suit the name Charlotte.

We are now considering changing her 2nd name to Eve and calling her that, giving her the option to use Charlotte when she's older.

I would love to use Eve as a first name, but DP's surname is quite short (a long vowel sound) and although it doesn't sound ridiculous, it doesn't sound perfect!

So if we call her Charlotte Eve, but want her to be known as Eve, how does that work with registering her at the doctors, nursery, school etc? Do we just drop the Charlotte completely? If so, I can't help thinking we might as well just use Eve as her first name!

The other option is Evelyn as a first name, with Charlotte as a middle name, but I would only be giving her the extended name to make it scan better with the surname, which seems a bit daft hmm

Your opinions please ladies and gentlemen - we have to register her name on Tuesday and I want to be settled!

Hecate Thu 31-Jul-08 22:11:04

I don't think there's any point giving her a name you a) don't like and b) don't want to use, so if you don't like it enough to use it, bin Charlotte altogether. Why keep it if you don't want to use it? And you'll have to CONSTANTLY explain, and all official things - school gp, dentist etc etc, well, she'll be Charlotte no matter what you do! grin

If you call her Eve, everyone will call her Evie. Do you like that? If you like Evie, what about Evie-May or something like that?

frazzledoldbag34 Thu 31-Jul-08 22:16:39

Oh poor you. I love Charlotte (DD1 was always going to be that but we changed our minds when she was about 1 min old!)
Don't know if this is helpful BUT we called DD1 a name when she was born which we used until she was just over 2. Then one day she came home from nursery and announced 'me not [name 1] me [name 2]. Name 2 was a name she had either come up with or heard at nursery and although is similar and could be a derivative of her original name does sound quite different. There were no other kids at nursery called [name2] and it's quite unusual.
I quite liked it, but carried on calling her [name 1]. She refused to answer to her original name and so we caved in and started calling her [name 2] thinking she'd get fed up of it and forget. She's now 7 and a half and has been [name 2] ever since. She is called [name 2] at school and by everyone that knows her. Most people don't actually realise that [name 2] isn't the name on her birth cert. The only person that calls her by her proper / original given name is her great grannie.

When we go to the doctors they call out [name 1] and she knows that's her name and just tells the doc / dentist or whoever to call her [name 2]. It doesn't cause any problems at all- most forms for nursery and school etc have a box that says first name: and then underneath it says name to be called by: (or something like that).

So my (long-winded, sorry) point being just do what you want but if you do decide on Charlotte Eve but call her Eve I doubt it will cause problems - based on our own experiences anyway. And my DD1 quite likes being a bit 'special' and having two first names (plus two middle names in fact!)
By the way I think Charlotte and Eve are both very pretty.

Anyway good luck with whatever you decide and glad your baby is better.

Blu Thu 31-Jul-08 22:16:50

Give her your surname!

Or both your surnames. Especially if you have different surnames..

Blu Thu 31-Jul-08 22:17:31

I mean, call her eve and then your surname.

Jivegirl Thu 31-Jul-08 22:25:09

Oh Blu

I would LOVE to

(She is currently Charlotte + my surname and I love it!)

However, DD1 has DPs surname (should have thought about that more at the time)

Plus Eve + my surname makes a very comic combination with massive teasing potential. I couldn't saddle the poor child with it sad

(Maybe DP and I should both adopt different, totally random surnames lol)

Hecate - I do like the name Charlotte, but I've just realised a. how popular it is and b. that I know lots of adults/children called Charlotte and c. I don't think the derivatives suit DD2. Didn't think it would bother me but it does!

Still think it's a classy, gorgeous name for when she's older though.. smile

TinkerBellesMum Thu 31-Jul-08 22:27:31

My grandparents loved the name Joy, but the middle name they wanted didn't sound right, so they called her Joy as a middle name but she was always known as Joy because that's the name for her. My aunt gave her little brother his name but he hated it so like his sister is known by his middle name (it used to cause some funny fights when she was alive as she would use his real name so he would use hers).

I don't know about doctors but a lot of places have a field in forms for "prefers to be known as" or something similar.

I think, surname aside, Charlotte Eve sounds better than Eve Charlotte (quick poll here agrees!)

TinkerBellesMum Thu 31-Jul-08 22:29:14

that's the name for her

I mean

that's the name they wanted for her

Jivegirl Thu 31-Jul-08 22:30:34

Thanks TinkerBellesMum

My mum says Charlotte Eve reminds her of Christmas Eve hmm

Think changing the surname could be the way forward. Now, Eve Ponsonby-Smythe has a definite ring to it.. grin

blueshoes Thu 31-Jul-08 22:32:02

My dd's middle name is used as her first name. She is known in school and nursery and all who know her as middle name. No one knows her first name except some government department or GP, whose form I filled in with her full name.

So far it has not caused problems.

Both her first and second name are rather unusual though, so I would think she would be able to recognise herself whichever one is used.

frazzledoldbag34 Thu 31-Jul-08 22:34:35

have been musing on this for a while and I reckon
Eve Charlotte
has a better ring to it.
Call her that.
Lovely grin

Califrau Thu 31-Jul-08 22:36:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Pollyanna Thu 31-Jul-08 22:37:15

I can't answer on which name you should have (although I personally think Charlotte Eve sounds better than Eve Charlotte - if Charlotte is used a middle name Evelyn is a better first name imo), but my dd1 is known by her middle name.

We have never had any problems with it tbh - she is listed by her middle name at school, and I don't think she is ever referred to there by her first name. At the doctors etc she is called by her first name, but we just tell the dr/dentist/whoever that she is known as middle name and it isn't a problem.

I am also known by my middle name, and it has only really caused a problem when I have been pregnant - I had 2 sets of hospital records, one in each name.

I have rambled, but my advice is that for us we haven't had any problems using a middle name.

canofworms Thu 31-Jul-08 22:38:20

I read your last post and nearly replied but feel I have to second time round!

My dd2 is called Charlotte and, like you, I didn't realise how popular it was - dd1 has an unusual name and that's how I liked it, thought I'd do the same/similar again.

I was toying with the idea of calling her by her middle name instead when she was about 6 months old but then a close friend called her baby that so I didn't dare copy!

Long and short of it is, dd2 is now 5.5 and I like her name now - she's really growing into it. In the nursery and the school that she's been in we've only come across 1 other Charlotte (makes it important that her surname sounds right with it thogh as she was known by her full name all the time!!)

We don't shorten it but at home we have a nickname for her ("bubs")

Also love the name Eve as it's dd3's middle name. (Actually know loads of Eve's though)

pgwithnumber3 Thu 31-Jul-08 22:42:22

My friend has done this with both her children, one is called Elizabeth Grace but is known as Grace and funnily enough, her newborn is called Charlotte Eve but known as Eve. I will have to ask her tomorrow if she has come across any problems but I don't think she has.

Jivegirl Thu 31-Jul-08 22:57:59

canofworms do you think it's a case of having to grow into the name? Lots of people suggested that in my last post. I'm not 100% convinced.

I think part of it is because I personally know other Charlottes. I read somewhere that it doesn't matter if you name your child the same name as someone you know, as the name automatically 'becomes' your child. But so far that's not been the case for me! I feel like I'm calling her by someone else's name sad

Whereas I didn't know anyone, child or adult, with DD1s name (although it's relatively popular) and I think that really made a difference.

LOL pgwithnumber3 - there's nothing new under the sun, is there? Would be very interested to hear your friend's opinion!

Califrau - yep, it strikes me as being a pain in the arse too grin Naming a child is such a flippin' responsibility!


AbbeyA Fri 01-Aug-08 08:02:20

I think Charlotte is a lovely name.
I know people who are called by their second name but they have to constantly explain.

AbbeyA Fri 01-Aug-08 08:03:17

You may have discussed it on the other thread, but how about Lottie?

AbbeyA Fri 01-Aug-08 08:08:13

Actually calling her by her second name is no different from calling her by a shortened form. I supply teach and the register is always difficult. Samuels are generally Sam but not always, Eleanors are often Ellie etc.
I always have to ask and they always have to explain.One of the Charlottes that I teach regularly is always called Charlie-I can't even imagine her as Charlotte!

SoupKitchen Fri 01-Aug-08 08:08:16

I know many more eves than charlottes.
I think you should go with your gut feeling and not worry about others opinions

GrapefruitMoon Fri 01-Aug-08 08:16:24

Please don't call her by her middle name. I know lots of people that this has happened to and it is a pita when you are an adult and dealing with officialdom....

2point4kids Fri 01-Aug-08 08:20:48

I did reply on your other thread and I will say something similar now - it sounds as though you are not sure about any name to me, you just cant decide. In that case I think its better to go with the name you first picked and spent longer choosing rather than change it to something else that you are equally unsure of. She will grow into her name very quickly once you decide on it (perhaps you cant get used to it yet because in your head its not 'definite' yet)

I dont know any Charlottes, but lots of Eves.
To me Charlotte is a more classic long lasting name whereas Evie (which she will most likely get called) is very 'now' iyswim.

Call her the name you love the best and give her that as her first name, no messing about then.

kitkat9 Sat 02-Aug-08 20:46:40

I have always been called by my middle name, since birth. It's the bane of my life, honestly. My parents have never been able to explain why they did this. I have to be known by my first name for all official things, like wth the bank, all through school etc.

It's been a life time of people asking me, 'why is your first name 'X' but you get caled 'Y'? ' and I have NO answer! Drives me potty.

DontCallMeBaby Sat 02-Aug-08 21:07:58

kitkat9, I'm not surprised your parents couldn't explain, my grandmother when in her 90s admitted she really didn't know why she'd called two of her sons by their middle names all their lives, and that it had been a bit silly!

On the plus side, my dad always knows straight off whether someone really knows him, or is responding to a form he's filled in, etc; or whether they've taken his name from the electoral roll or similar. The latter, trying to be friendly and informal, say 'hello, Firstname' - a name he has NEVER been known by.

On the other hand his middle brother is only known by his middle name by his brothers and their families (and his parents when they wre alive). EVERYONE else, including his wife and in-laws, call him by his first name. Which was also his father's name. Confusing!

lunamoon2 Sat 02-Aug-08 22:41:03

I would strongly recommend against using a middle name as a first name. In the olden days it was because you had to give a child a "proper name" eg no Fifi Trixabelles etc so people would often use a traditional name as the first name and then the name which they wanted the child to be called as the middle name.
I would imagine that your child will be forever having to explain to everyone why this is the case.
I have come across this myself and always thought how silly the parents of such children seem. Sorry don't want to sound cruel but you may as well pick a name out of thin air if you never intend to call your child by this name.

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